And in this moment, we can't close the lids on burning eyes.

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And in this moment, we can't close the lids on burning eyes.

From my blog at http://cristinaguarino.livejournal.com/.

11:48 am- I'm not sure where to begin this, nor do I have any clue where it will take me or how long it will be (it certainly won't be short). I don't know if I'll be able to write it all in one sitting or if I'll have to stop and start again. So I'm just going to go with it, and review the end-product, and try to establish whether or not it will make sense to anyone other than myself. At the very least, I want it to make sense to my fellow fans.

The big event I mentioned in my previous post is something I don't even want to type out, as dramatic as that may sound. But regardless of what anyone may think of it, it's hard for me, as I know it is for many, many others, some loved ones included.

My Chemical Romance--a band who has had a huge influence on my life, perhaps more than I or anyone who knows me may realize--has ended their time together and with us.

I don't want to spend too much time on my history with them, but it may not be possible to avoid it. It started, I suppose, with their release of I'm Not Okay in 2004. It was on the radio, I loved it for a while, I forgot about it. I was 14 at the time. Then came the real beginning, the one that would shape my life for years to come: the release of The Black Parade album, and my stepsister's insistence that I give the band a try.

The first song that really hooked me was The Ghost of You. That was the one that got me thinking, Wow, I need to check out their other stuff. Eventually, I was obsessed with their music. It spoke to me in ways not many people understood. I'm not even sure I understood it... maybe I still don't. Only my fellow fans--the countless numbers of them I communicated with on forums and fanfiction sites--got it. We were poked fun at, shunned, judged for our taste in music. For our emotions. Our expression of our individual pains and sufferings that finally found a venue through MCR's songs. Even I was skeptical of the way we felt about it, but it was there. It was real. And who was anyone to tell us differently?

Soon, their music became the magnet and eventual glue that brought and held together the relationship between my stepsister and myself. She and I are extremely close now, and I truly believe that an extensive part of that is due to their music. We started talking constantly. Sharing links. Writing fanfiction. Fangirling over them to an embarrassing extent. We watched their documentary, Life on the Murder Scene, religiously. And then, never leaving them behind, our musical tastes--and our relationship--grew beyond their sole influence. I thank them for that to this day.

One thing that resonates with me: in high school, I went through a short phase where I would come home off the train, drop my stuff unceremoniously on my bedroom floor, and watch the Helena music video before doing anything else. Every. Single. Day. It calmed me, it saddened me, it opened my mind up to feelings I knew were growing restlessly inside me but were constantly shunned and stifled by myself and my family. Something was wrong, and something about their music was telling me, Wake up. It's okay to feel this way, but only if you're willing to do something about it. Regardless, you aren't alone.

12:43 am- I had to stop, as I expected I would, as I'm currently at work. I want to say before I continue that I owe a great deal of the structure of this post to Gerard Way's letter, which he posted a few days after the band's unexpected end. Just as he's taught me so much about life and music and emotion, so too has he now taught me about my own art of writing.

So, to jump a bit and keep this post from becoming longer than that letter itself, let's skim over the years. I first saw MCR perform the night of Bamboozle 2007. Filled with anxiety and excitement, I scarfed down a quick diner meal with our family after my first SAT and headed over to The Meadowlands. That night was spectacular... and led to many others: Projekt Revolution, 2007. Yule Rock @ Roseland Ballroom, 2010. Starland Ballroom, 2011. Bamboozle 2012, the first time I saw them without my sister. And at that last performance, I knew something was wrong.

I won't go into that, as Gerard's letter explains it well enough. But all I can say is that I'm both saddened and honored to have witnessed the beginning of the end, and I wish my sister was there to share it with me.
Now, a sort of stream-of-consciousness jumble I keyed into my phone yesterday morning while processing the letter:

---

Crazy how it feels like a new chapter in my life is beginning as one ends. They've been a defining structure for the past 6 years even when I barely thought of them, even when I stopped listening for a while or shunned them for my newest flavor of the month.

But it always came back to them. They really began a change in me when I felt to be at my most stagnant.

Maybe that change was gradual or nondescript or discreet, but it was there. Their music seems to have grown with me as I've grown with it... from dark to light, from struggling and confused to determined and self-respecting.

I feel myself rambling but I don't know how to stop. There is so much to them while so little... As Gerard wrote, they are an idea. An ideal. A figment and a phantom. Yet tangible. Audible. They'll scream until you'll understand, and if you never do, they won't care. Nothing will ever be the same, yet nothing has ever changed. They are me and I am them. We are all one and I think that's their ultimate message. So forget the stigmas and the press and the shroud of black we've been cast in as fans and foes. They are whatever they mean to you, and to me they are everything. And as much as I'll miss their guidance, I think it's time for me--for us--to take the reigns. Because what they've taught us will never be exterminated. It can't be. Because, as Gerard said in his letter, it's all just an idea. One nobody but you, but I, can ever touch. And while they're out there living with what we've taught them, so too will we carry on.

I'm trying... Struggling... To find the right lyric to end this, but there is no right one. Because they ARE all one. And I do believe that I'll carry that great big ball of meaning with me wherever I go, to unravel and weave and wrap back up as I see fit, as I believe they intended.

So I guess I'll end this on the same note that many have been. You guys meant, mean, everything to me. Thank you for all you've given me over the course of four studio albums, countless singles and bonus releases, and six spectacular shows. I am who I am today because of the lens you've provided me with to view and manipulate life through. I am me, and I am not afraid to keep on living that way. Overdone as it may be, as I'm sure it already is....
So long, and goodnight.